[ awr-uh-ree, or- ]

noun,plural or·rer·ies.
  1. an apparatus for representing the positions, motions, and phases of the planets, satellites, etc., in the solar system.

  2. any of certain similar machines, as a planetarium.

Origin of orrery

First recorded in 1705–15; named after Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery (1676–1731), for whom it was first made

Words Nearby orrery

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use orrery in a sentence

  • Among the children were the famous orrery, and the yet more famous Robert Boyle.

  • This came to the ears of the Earl of orrery, who requested the butlers master to send him to his house, which the latter did.

    Irish Witchcraft and Demonology | St. John D. (St. John Drelincourt) Seymour
  • You therefore present this orrery to any person, and desire him to choose one of the questions there written.

  • These are all placed on a wide plain in a fashion symbolising the Solar System: like an orrery.

    A Son of Perdition | Fergus Hume
  • His countenance, says orrery, could be terribly expressive of the sterner passions.

    Swift | Leslie Stephen

British Dictionary definitions for orrery


/ (ˈɒrərɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. a mechanical model of the solar system in which the planets can be moved at the correct relative velocities around the sun

Origin of orrery

C18: originally made for Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012